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Health Benefits And Side Effects Of Cloves [Kanafuru Spice]

Health Benefits Of Cloves

You may have used cloves before, even when you do not know so much about its health benefits.

Now that you have made up your mind to read this article, your decision is a great one.

This article will help you a lot if you are in the category of Nigerians who just know cloves as a spice.

Clove, Syzygium aromaticum (S. aromaticum), is a median size tree (8-12 m) from the Mirtaceae family.

It is native from the Maluku islands in east Indonesia, but different other nations of the world now grow cloves.

Cloves are the richest sources of phenolic compounds such as eugenol, eugenol acetate and gallic acid.

Indeed, these compounds give this spice great potential for pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food and agricultural applications.

It also has antioxidants and antimicrobial compounds that are higher than many fruits, vegetables and other spices.

We will look at these compounds.

Health Benefits Of Cloves

One of the very reasons people fall ill is the abnormal presence of free radicals in the body. But certain antioxidants in plants power-up our body to fight these radicals.

There are some antioxidants in cloves that perform this function and also do a lot other things.

nutritional fact of cloves

Nutritional Facts Of Cloves – Source, USDA

The phenolic compounds present in clove are flavonoids, hidroxibenzoic acids, hidroxicinamic acids and hidroxiphenyl propens.

Categorically, eugenol is the main bioactive compound of clove.

Also, among spices, clove showed the higher content of polyphenols and antioxidant compounds

As a result of the presence of these compounds cloves are great in these areas.

1.      Reduces Oxidative Stress

The imbalance between free radical activity and antioxidant activity results in oxidative stress. The antioxidant in cloves helps to reduce oxidative stress.

Categorically, oxidative stress could contribute to the development of chronic disease in the body.

2.      Cloves May Protect Your Body Against Cancer

The number of deaths linked to cancer is increasing daily. But the foods we eat have showed potentials of lowering this risk.

Cloves are some of those plants that provide this support.

A 2014 study found that cloves could inhibit the growth of tumour.

The researchers concluded that: “Clove extract may represent a novel therapeutic herb for the treatment of colorectal (colon) cancer, and Oleanolic Acid appears to be one of the bioactive components”.

3.      Cloves Can Kill Bacteria

Another 2014 study recorded that cloves showed complete bactericidal effect against all the food-borne pathogens tested – Escherichia coli (E. coli), Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus. The results was propelled by  aqueous extract of clove at 3%.

Health Benefits Of Cloves

Leave Cloves Overnight In A Glass Of Water then drink one tablespoon per time

At the concentration of 1% clove extract also showed good inhibitory action.

People who have Staphylococcus aureus can add cloves in water and take at least two times daily. Note that the result will be a gradual one. There is no quick action with natural remedies.

4.      May Reduce Stomach Ulcers

Stomach ulcers are painful sores that form in the lining of the stomach. Ulcers begin when there is a reductions in the protective lining of the stomach.

This protective lining reduction is often due to genetics, stress and infection.


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In another study, researchers found that the essential oil of cloves as well as its main component (eugenol), possesses antiulcer activity.

This is done by the production of gastric mucus that protect the lining of the stomach.

5.      Great For Oral Health

A 1996 study concluded that the flavones, kaempferol and myricetin in cloves, demonstrated potent growth-inhibitory activity against the periodontal pathogens P. gingivalis and P. intermedia.

Therefore, adding cloves in water and gaggling with it could promote good dental health and reduce mouth odour.

6.      May Boost Liver Health

In 2014, researchers studied the effect of clove essential oil (CO) and its major constituent, eugenol on fatty liver and dyslipidemia in high-fructose-fed rats.

At the end, they found that administration of CO conventional emulsion, COM, or EM produced significant improvement in fatty liver and dyslipidemia, with consequent expected protection from cardiovascular diseases and other complications of fatty liver.

7.      Helps In Regulating Blood Sugar Level

Another study also looked at the extract from the flower buds of cloves with dehydrodieugenol compounds.

It found that the extract significantly suppressed an increase in blood glucose level in type 2 diabetic mice.

Researches concluded that the results indicated that clove contained a functional food ingredient that could prevent  type 2 diabetes.

8.      Memory Improvement

One of the issues that oxidative stress cause, is memory decline. Fortunately, cloves help reduce oxidative stress.

As a result, it could improve memory function.

An earlier cited research also highlighted that antioxidants are important compounds for treatment of memory deficits caused by oxidative stress.

Cloves in a glass of water

Cloves In A Glass Of Water

Pretreatment with clove essential oil decreases the oxidative stress assessed by malondialdehyde and reduced glutathione levels in a mice’s brain.

According to the study, “clove oil could revert memory and learning deficits caused by scopolamine in short and long term as a result of the reduction in the oxidative stress”.


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These works prove the benefits of the employment of clove as a rich source of antioxidants for the treatment of memory deficits caused by oxidative stress.

9.      Cloves Promote Bone Health

As an individual gets older, bone fracture becomes more possible.

Interestingly, a 2011 study showed that extract rich in eugenol and eugenol derivatives shows bone-preserving efficacy.

Cloves are rich sources of these compounds.

At the end of the animal study, researchers proposed that hydroalcoholic extract of dried clove buds has bone-preserving efficacy against hypogonadal osteoporosis.

Side Effects Of Cloves

As seen from researches cited earlier, eugenol is one compound abundant in cloves.

It is also the compound taunted for possible side-effect when abused.

According to a 2019 research, eugenol overdose could cause liver injury.

However, it stated that when normal doses are taken, eugenol has not been implicated in causing serum enzyme elevations or clinically apparent liver injury.

It is the ingestions of high doses, as with an overdose, that can cause severe liver injury.

Again, most of the researches used very concentrated amounts of clove extract, clove oil, and eugenol.

Further studies are needed on the issue.

How To Use Cloves

However, we recommend that you ground and add cloves to your dish in small amounts. White soup is one good soup to add cloves to.

Also, you can soak in drinking water and allow for some hours before you take it. You can boil in water and also take as tea.

Small amount should be taken per time to lower side effects.

Kindly share with your friends and loved ones to help them know the health benefits and side effect of cloves. 

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Williams Osewezina

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